Challenges faced by educators in disserminating HIV\AIDS information to intellectually challenged learners
In this study, the researcher‘s aim was to explore the challenges faced by educators when disseminating HIV and AIDS information to learners who are intellectually challenged and then make recommendations to address these challenges. To achieve this, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to collect data. As such, the research instruments included self-administered questionnaires as well as interviews. Fifty teachers and twenty five learners participated in the study. They were drawn from the five primary schools selected for the study. The main findings of the study include: Restrictive cultural norms as a great challenge, supported by 58 % of the respondents - this, to some extent, might be attributed to the fact that in some cultures, talking about HIV and AIDS is considered bad character and unacceptable behaviour; lack of communication skills; lack of formal training in teaching HIV/AIDS agreed by (48%) of the teachers, communication difficulties since the medium of instruction used to teach learners in Botswana schools is mostly English language while the learners would preferably understand better in their mother-tongue especially at primary level. This is further worsened by intellectual challenge presented by the participating learners. The study revealed the following solutions to mitigate challenges encountered while disseminating HIV and AIDS information: establishment of language-appropriate HIV prevention programmes, providing HIV information tailored for intellectually challenged learners, supplementing the available methods of disseminating HIV and AIDS information with other practical methods including the use of drama, and training a few intellectually challenged learners about HIV and AIDS for purposes of peer learning. The findings of the study suggest the following recommendations, among others; training teachers, especially on various ways of communicating with learners who are intellectually challenged; teachers need to be thinking about communication when preparing a lesson plan; and collaboration of the Department of Education with relevant stakeholders towards promoting policies that may help intellectually challenged learners to understand HIV and AIDS issues. To some extent, the findings advocate for special schools alongside inclusive education to provide special learning materials for learners who are intellectually challenged. This would embrace such learners who might not have fitted in mainstream schools/classrooms.
- Education